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Thread: Wine production: all the other guys

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Wine production: all the other guys

    So California has a lot of wineries, what else is new? How about all those other states...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...ction_by_state

    Did you know Washington and Oregon are #3 and #4 in wine production? (EDIT: whoops forgot about NY) I guess it's not that much of a stretch when you consider the climate and geography of the West Coast. But look at the list above and you'll see there are some surprising states listed. For instance, I had no idea North Carolina produced nearly as much wine as Michigan (I live very near the Lake Michigan wine belt that extends from the south end of the lake up to the Lelanau peninsula near Traverse City). Other surprises (for me) included Florida, New Jersey, and Texas Everyone knows about New York wineries, but what was mind blowing to me was seeing Montana and Maine on that list

    Any wineries near you? No doubt they have won some prestigious awards?
    Last edited by Maister; 05 Nov 2012 at 10:57 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    NC wines are not very good.... sorry those folks who love them... Michigan and New York have the Great Lakes which produce some great varietals.

    As for where I live.... Ohio is not very good at wine production. It gets too cold and the growing season is too short for Vitis vinifera to grow - so no Cab Sauv or other more "known" varietals. We have over 150 wineries, which produce something like 100+ varietals. I think we are better at producing table grapes than wine grapes, but near Cleveland they are starting to get more ice wines that are good. Many of the larger vineyards though are just big... not necessarily good. Most wines made in Ohio lack body and generally are much less refined than California, Oregon, or Washington.

    I think the other difficulty of Ohio wines is finding a reasonable price point. We don't have large enough producers that they can produce a great wine and sell it for $10. A great bottle from an average producer in California will go for $12. Here it would go for $20. Unless you really want to buy local, you aren't going to pay the extra $8 for an inferior product. Until Ohio can find ways to get to a more reasonable price point, they are going to have trouble finding market share.
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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    NC wines are not very good.... sorry those folks who love them...
    Biltmore produces very drinkable reds (although they also cheat and use California grapes for some of their wines). The Georgia wines that I've had (all both of them) suck. Washington and Oregon are no surprise to me - especially Oregon - my favorite American wines tend to be Willamette Valley pinot noirs (and I've only ever had one California pinot that comes close to their quality)...
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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I'm not a fan of the New England wines I've tasted. The whites have been better than the reds though (and I usually prefer reds).

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Any wineries near you? No doubt they have won some prestigious awards?
    Finger Lakes, baby. Can't swing a dead cat without hitting a winery.

    Unfortunately, there's almost no good locally or regionally produced reds. Rieslings and Gewürztraminers are quite good, though probably because the climate is similar to wine producing regions in Germany. Wines from Dr. Konstantin Frank are a good reference standard for the region.

    Cayuga Lake wines are considered "local" here: http://cayugawinetrail.com, Wine snobs prefer Seneca and Keuka Lake wines. RJ would probably say everything from the region is just glorified vinegar.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Finger Lakes, baby. Can't swing a dead cat without hitting a winery.
    Off-topic:
    Why would you swing a dead cat? Particularly when in such close proximity to a building or other obstruction. I do not understand.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Did you know Washington and Oregon are #3 and #4 in wine production?

    Any wineries near you? No doubt they have won some prestigious awards?
    In a former life I was on the wine-tasting panel for a Napa winery, so I was biased until I tasted some Wahluke Slope reds from WA State. Yum! I have a buddy a bit farther north than Yakima who is growing Barbera and very nice wine. Lots of decent areas in the West for winemaking. Here, though, the Western Slope wines are hit-and-miss, but you get pleasantly surprised enough times to make an excuse to go over there...
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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Am i even allowed to comment on this thread
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    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    It looks like the Wikipedia list is showing production of “grape” wines only, but aren’t there other fruit wines made in Florida (and I’m sure other states)? Does a facility that makes only apple wine or blueberry wine count as a winery?

    I had an ice wine from northern Ohio (don’t remember exactly where) and it was too sweet for me but family members really liked it. I think there’s a kind of placebo effect (for lack of a better term) where you are a little less critical of a wine when you know that it was grown/produced in your state or local area. I’m even guilty of that here.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Some states just don't have the that certain je ne sais quoi to be associated with fine wines.

    Consider this:

    A fine California wine.
    A fine New York wine.
    A wine Washington wine.

    Sounds natural, right? Now, how about ...

    A fine New Jersey wine
    A fine Texas wine
    A fine Ohio wine

    Nope. What do you picture when you think "a fine California wine?"



    Now, let's consider a fine Illinois wine.



    A fine New York wine.



    A fine Missouri wine.

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Chautauqua County, the "heart" of the Great Lakes Grape Belt, used to be noted for its table/jelly grapes (Welch's is still produced in Westfield, NY), especially the famous Concord grape. In the last 30 years or so, wine making has become much more prominent. Depending on the micro-climate, various viniferas will grow here. Lots of small wineries all over the county and down into PA as well.

    New York wineries produce wines from other fruit than grapes, from cherries to strawberries.
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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Wollersheim Winerery is perhaps the best known of Wisconsin's wineries. Here is a bit of interesting history about the property on which the winery sits...

    Just across from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, Wollersheim Winery sits on a scenic hillside overlooking the Wisconsin River. This national historic site was selected for vineyards in the 1840's by Hungarian nobleman Agoston Haraszthy. The slopes reminded Haraszthy of his homeland and he knew this would be an ideal place to grow grapes. But in December of 1849, he decided to follow the gold rush west to California, where he eventually became known as the founder of the California wine industry.

    If not for his decision to move to California, maybe Wisconsin would have a much larger wine-making industry, on a par with beer and dairy. Wollersheim has won numerous awards for their wines and was named the 2012 winery of the year in the San Diego International Winery Competition. The buildings date to the mid 1800's and sit on a bluff above the Wisconsin River. It is a beautiful setting and you can sip wines on the grounds while watching the bald eagles soaring above. As a fan of reds, though, I am not really drawn to their offerings, which tend to be sweeter whites and blushes. Even though I love Reisling, I am picky and find the American versions just do not compare to a Model-Saar-Ruhr or even Austrian maker.
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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by terraplnr View post
    I think there’s a kind of placebo effect (for lack of a better term) where you are a little less critical of a wine when you know that it was grown/produced in your state or local area.
    Um, no - I can admit that Georgia wines pretty much suck.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Found an interesting article about regional wine in the US.

    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Um, no - I can admit that Georgia wines pretty much suck.
    Even here, in the heart of New York's wine country, most will readily admit the local reds leave a lot to be desired. I think they're produced just so people can taste them at the wine tours, find they taste a bit watered down, and buy a bottle of the Riesling.

    There's at least one New York red of note, though.



    Okay. Two.



    When I lived in Ohio, the local wine was seen as something of a novelty. There was the local wine route (Ashtabula County, generally), and a token Ohio wine on the wine list of most decent restaurants. You drink it because it's moderately good, it's cheap, and it's from Ohio; not because it's great wine.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I sometimes wonder about the awards every winery these days seems to have collected. Take Michigan wines for example: http://www.michiganwines.com/page.php?menu=awards Lots of Michigan wineries can boast a silver medal from somewhere. I gather there are wine competitions and there are wine competitions. One gets the impression that wineries outside of California try to 'buy' street cred by winning awards at tastings held in California (much like California used to try to buy cred a half century ago by trying to get awards at European events).

    Hey my chardonay got a gold medal at the prestigous Terre Haute competition!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Again, image.

    A fine Washington wine.



    A fine Oregon wine.



    A fine Michigan wine.

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Most Michigan wine tasting competitions feature a friendly target shooting contest afterwards out back. You can usually pick out the outsiders from places like Washington, New York, and Oregon. They obviously haven't spent much time building up their tolerance levels at deer camp like we have, and it becomes quickly apparent they can't hold their likker when they're landing shots in the 2 ring or even missing the targets altogether.
    Last edited by Maister; 07 Nov 2012 at 11:08 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I sometimes wonder about the awards every winery these days seems to have collected. Take Michigan wines for example: http://www.michiganwines.com/page.php?menu=awards Lots of Michigan wineries can boast a silver medal from somewhere. I gather there are wine competitions and there are wine competitions. One gets the impression that wineries outside of California try to 'buy' street cred by winning awards at tastings held in California (much like California used to try to buy cred a half century ago by trying to get awards at European events).

    Hey my chardonay got a gold medal at the prestigous Terre Haute competition!
    There are wine competitions at most state fairs. It is much like BBQ competitions these days.... they are everywhere.

    I would argue that the top competitions are not in small states, but in California, London, NYC, and all the other places you would expect high level competition from great wineries.

    One time I won the best planner in my office award.... aren't I special?
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    "Yes, I'll have a glass of the Sweet Poontang, please."

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Most Michigan wine tasting competitions feature a friendly target shooting contest afterwards out back. You can usually pick out the outsiders from places like Washington, New York, and Oregon. They obviously haven't spent much time building up their tolerance levels at deer camp like we have, and it becomes quickly apparent they can't hold their likker.
    Imagine if I posted about "a fine Florida wine?"
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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Most Michigan wine tasting competitions feature a friendly target shooting contest afterwards out back. You can usually pick out the outsiders from places like Washington, New York, and Oregon. They obviously haven't spent much time building up their tolerance levels at deer camp like we have, and it becomes quickly apparent they can't hold their likker.
    Pure. Michigan.

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I sometimes wonder about the awards every winery these days seems to have collected......
    Good point.

    When I lived in the Golden State I attended the annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair. More than once I knew the Harvest Fair Champion, Best of Class, and some gold metal winners did not deserve their awards because there were better wines being poured. I arrived at the opinion that the judges knew what they were tasting and the winners were wines from boutique wineries they were trying to showcase.

    Or they were taking bribes.

    But I could be wrong.

  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I had a Hermann J. Wiemer riesling last night (with deep dish pizza dude!) and found it to be as good as any dry riesling I've ever had. I think a side by side blind taste test may be in order this weekend.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I think a side by side blind taste test may be in order this weekend.
    Helpful hint: If it makes you go blind, there might be a better fruit of the vine choice out there.
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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Montana has the Mission Mountain Winery, Dayton MT, on the shores of Flathead Lake. It is a good, over-priced wine. I sometimes give it as a gift to people from out of state. I am not a wine drinker, maybe one or two glasses a year of vin ordinaire, as Horace Rumpole used to put it.

    I did not see it listed in the list Maister provided, but I know Louisiana does make wine, or at least did. On one of my infrequent visits to the Bayou State, I was surprised to see a winery in St. Tammany Parish (north of New Orleans). Not convinced the hot, muggy climate is condusive to the making of wine, but then again I am not a wine expert. People in Louisiana doe like their wine, though. My mom loves hers.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Anyone else follow the recent link on MSN about great wine towns outside California? ....Jefferson City, MO?.... Boise, ID?
    Yeah, I was kinda appalled by some of their picks too.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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